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The Life Of The Fields - click opera
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Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 11:15 am
The Life Of The Fields

Here's an mp3 of my latest song, The Life Of The Fields.

Sorry, this track is no longer available. Please buy the CD when it comes out!

It's a folk-pop song heavy with shinto magic, spring and sex. It has a sort of New Order feel to it, if New Order had been a medieval folk group. There's a family tie between this song and the one I sing on the new album by Hypo, 'Random Veneziano'. They both contain the image of throwing wine 'in the face of nothing'. And, although it's much more of a traditional pop song than the material on Summerisle, my forthcoming collaboration with Anne Laplantine, this song is very much set on that same summer island, a parallel world of enchantment, animist religion and burgeoning sensuality. The lyrics are inspired by cult horror film The Wicker Man, but also by a documentary I saw on Arte about the battle of some Indian farmers to stop American companies claiming copyright on the gene structure of basmati rice. The documentary showed an Indian TV commercial for Bollgard, a gentech cotton strain which can resist insects. The imagery was of a beaming Green Giant-like nature god running through abundant fields. Its very non-Christian nature god imagery reminded me of 'The Wicker Man'.



If you like the song and keep it, I'd ask you to donate me a dollar via Paypal:










I'm time rich but money poor. A dollar makes a difference to me. If I get enough donations on this one, I'll keep posting mp3s of new material as it appears. Please don't redistribute these files via file sharing services. Send people to this page instead. The address is:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/imomus/2004/04/08/

I'm doing this for several reasons. First, I don't agree with the music industry's view that file sharing damages record sales. I don't think anyone downloading and liking this song will be prevented from buying a superior-quality hard copy of it (it may be quite a different version) when the album comes out in 2005. Secondly, the song is very much about things happening now -- spring, the return of vitality and sensuality to the world, the ceremonies of April and May, a certain shift in sensibility (mine, at least!) towards the organic. Third, the song is actually inspired by folk music (which tends to be pre-copyright) and by a documentary which showed the threat poor farmers face from private companies claiming ownership of the 'intellectual property' of rice. It seems only right that its own DNA should be made freely available. Fourth, although I've asked my labels to look into it, I don't yet have any of my songs on iTunes, so I'm doing my own iMomus version of iTunes. Fifth, I like the idea of people paying based on their ability and their sense of honour. It works for shareware, perhaps it can work for songs. Sixth, I'm just really excited about this song and simply cannot keep it under my hat for a year! I want it to fly around the world spreading its healing love and spooky country charm immediately! Here are the notes for the song:

Bollgard
The life of the fields
A smiling lord of the fields prances through green cotton leaves free of boll weevil
Man and plant in harmony
India, where many gods are already using gentech
pollen
good tree wool and not good
sperm blows in on the wind
the community seed bank
the seed of the earth
black rices and short green rices
beeja shows me a gramme
she is the guarantor of our harvest
hundreds of varieties of rice
rice as intellectual property
ricetec

And here's the finished lyric:


The Life of the Fields

Your eyes are flat, the city's hot
Night falls over the barren system
Leave the cracked city block
Come back to the old religion
Throw your seed behind the plough
Throw your wine in the face of nothing

Feel the sea anemone
Children play in the rockery garden
We're all John Barleycorn
We're all one in the old religion
Meet me by the waving rye
The question mark in the scarecrow's eye

Gaelic runes and harvest moons
Shinto dogs at the phallic symbol
Mustard seed and dandelion
A time to live, a time to die
Meet me in the waving leaves
The question mark in the scarecrow summer
Meet me out by the lemon trees
Pull me down, and pump me dry

Lie back now and think of rain
In the blossom of the willow
Mastering the morning pain
Gorgeous on your petal pillow
Mustard seed and dandelion
Treading wine for the old religion

The high priest and the artisan
Piping at the gates of knowledge
Saturnine as the hammer god
Hammering, getting it on
Meet me by the waving rye
The question mark in the scarecrow's eye

Gaelic runes and harvest moons
Shinto dogs at the phallic symbol
Mustard seed and dandelion
A time to live, a time to die
Meet me in the waving summer
The question mark in the scarecrow's eye
Making out by the rhodedendron
Pull me down, and pump me dry
Lie back now and think of sorrow
The question mark in the scarecrow's eye
Mustard seed and dandelion
A time to live, a time to die

33CommentReplyShare

imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 04:49 am (UTC)

People, your generosity is heart-warming and belly-filling. The donations are fluttering in like blossom in a Summerisle orchard. It makes a stark contrast with the mean royalty statements the music industry has just sent me. Perhaps we were right to murder The Man up on the hilltop.

Thank you, my fellow islanders!


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 05:30 am (UTC)
Momus Barleycorn

Thanks for the wonderful birthday present, Momus! (It's the Buddha's birthday, too, you know.) Your Paypal check's in the mail...

This vaguely reminds me of something from my favorite folkie album, Mary Hopkin's gorgeously organic "Earth Song/Ocean Song," from 1971--though I know it's just the Incredible Momus Band. Anyone who somehow thinks Momus has "lost his touch" should be cajoled into hearing and appreciating this song's gentle interplay of wordplay and earplay.

Burn the wicker! Plant the barley! Dance the maypole!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 05:41 am (UTC)

dear nick,
it's always good to hear a new momus track. but hearing your voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar gives me always an extra shiver. and the manipulation on rice as world's no.1 food is also a topic that i can't keep cool on.
concerning the correlations between world hunger and the biotech companies that deal with the genetic manipulation on the varieties of rice i can recommend margarete visser's book "much depends on dinner". an amazing excursion through the history and mythology of an ordinary meal: corn, chicken, lettuce, rice and ice cream.
i've donated my euro and hope for more mp3s in the future...
by the way: what happened to your version of the cheburashka theme song?
all the best
eRiC / bErLiN


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 06:09 am (UTC)

Just for you, Eric, here is my version of the Cheburashka song:

Cheburashka Song

It's an instrumental, so you'll have to sing it yourself:

My story is a strange one
My species -- I don't have one
I'm in between a monkey
And a little bear
My name is Cheburashka
Your little friend from Russia
Someone find me
Or else I won't be here

The zoo just wouldn't have me
My future was so lonely
Until I met the lady
And the crocodile
They call me Cheburashka
A little friend from Russia
Friendship, friendship
Makes everything okay!

My name is Cheburashka
This lady is Natasha
Gena, Gena, is the crocodile


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 06:28 am (UTC)

spasiba nick
(also in the name of little roxy who loves this song)
eRiC


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Fri, Apr. 29th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)

Cheburashka song is so awesome! If you added lyrics into the mp3, I'd definitely pay more moneys! So good!


ReplyThread Parent
class_worrier
Class Worrier
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC)

A good song is worth €0.80 of anyones money.


ReplyThread
p2wy
p2wy
The Motor Cycle Au Pair Boy
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 08:05 am (UTC)
Lovely and amazing

As always...thank you Nick.


ReplyThread
charleshatcher
charleshatcher
charleshatcher
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 08:35 am (UTC)
Summer Style

This song is too lovely. And I adore the cap. I would willingly donate to your fund, but my bank account is presently as empty as a eunuch’s trousers.


ReplyThread
scythrop
scythrop
Love's True Bluish Light.
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC)

It's wonderful – thank you! I always like a healthy dose of paganism with my Easter season.


ReplyThread
seanthesean
Mr. Sean
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 11:15 am (UTC)

I am downloading the song right now, but the lyrics alone!!! Wonderful! They really remind of... the paper houses i was reading about this morning, but dyed mustard yellow in the early seventies...
We're all John Barleycorn
We're all one in the old religion
!!!


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 12:51 pm (UTC)
Mp3 blossom

Nick,
Lovely mix of elements in the new song.
Surely this is the future. Why wait for the old forms of distribution. I like having an artifact in the form of a CD, but hearing something where the paint is still wet is very appealing. I think you should do more of this. You certainly have patrons here who will support this endeavor. Artists now have the means of production and now the way to distribute their work. I hope this won't end up on Kazaa. Thanks for sharing. Richard G


ReplyThread
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 07:05 pm (UTC)
In the spirit of the season--for thee

GREEN, THE COLOR DIVINE
Or, A Fantastical Encounter with an Inordinately Haughty Floral Herald, in the Manner of Baudelaire (A Roman à Clef).

One dreary, cold day in early Spring, I was presiding over my office as flâneur, taking my daily constitutional through one of the city’s parks. Upon preparing to take my leave of such bleak surroundings, my gaze was caught by a small sprig of crocus that had impaled a slab of gray snow. Intrigued by this lone act of defiance, I knelt down to better study this intrepid harbinger of cool rains. As I sat by its side, I could hear these faint, but zealously uttered, words:

“All hail blessed Green, author of the grassy pudenda upon which I now lie, nuzzling the musk of the loamy Earth! I sing of Green, the handmaiden of Persephone, who, at this very moment, dances like Loie Fuller before the divine procession’s long ascent from the depths of the Netherworld, stirring the burrows of sleeping woodland creatures with her footfalls and illuminating the icy soil with her vernal blooms. Green needs no hands, for her million-fold fingers are found on every growing thing, placing each sleeping bud in its setting like a jeweler. The sight of her graceful hues lulls the screeching winter owls into silence, for Green is the bringer of balance, the very essence of harmony and subtlety. From her voluptuous form emerges a warm, translucent bounty, making the world anew!

“Aphrodite, goddess of Love and Beauty, was born out of a frothy sea of Green, and the emperors of ancient China, upon their deaths, were buried in priceless, jade-plated suits of the most exquisite—yes—Green! As the color of Life, only Green possesses a scent and taste; to eat or drink Her is to pray at Her altar. Green is the linchpin of light, providing within Her a venue for Serene Blue and Joyous Yellow to sing their glorious duets. Green relishes the intricacies of Her supporting roles, rarely taking the spotlight for Herself—but hollow would be the glory of a brightly-hued flower if not perched upon its cool, abiding pedestal of Green!

“Green’s legendary restfulness alleviates all manner of pain; She soothes teething infants, reduces the suicides on London’s Blackfriars Bridge, and is found upon the shoulders of physicks. And, contrary to the rants of conspiracy theorists, Green is not made of people!

“Oh, Bewildering Green! Natural and artificial! Comforting and sinister! Holy and perverse! Peace, Fertility, Jealousy and Hate all reside within Green’s voluminous cloak, as does her handsome brood: Chartreuse, Kelly, Lime, Moss, Forest, Apple, Hunter, Beryl, Peacock, Teal, Mint, Aquamarine, Olive, Emerald, Jade, Acid, Sage, Patina, Alpine, Turquoise, Fern and Viridian!

“All things bearing Green’s mark enjoy the favors of Heaven: wet grass, leaves, and sinuous vines; the sea; virginity; marble; forests; curry; seaweed; Aubrey Beardsley’s hair; pears; hummingbirds; laurel wreaths; envy; glass; sweet peas; parrots; Wilde’s carnations; garlands; mint chocolate chip iced creams; bell peppers; bile; mistletoe; bronze statues; eyes; katydids; tea; Whistler’s famous Peacock Room; chives; candy-coated, pill-shaped aphrodisiac chocolates, and the fabled milkshakes of St. Patrick!”

The lavender bud then turned to me:

“Lo, mortal: the slabs and rivers of stone your kind has etched upon Green’s dominion are but an obscene folly that shall one day be shattered to pebbles by the ceaseless prying of dandelions; Green’s carnal union with Relentless Time ensures that your abominations shall be as a sheet of paper pierced by a million needles! Go now, wispy son of Cain, and prepare for the return of the Eden you have so ungraciously spurned!”

I then arose, tipped my hat and went on my way—with a freshly picked crocus upon my lapel.

W


ReplyThread
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 07:10 pm (UTC)
Re: In the spirit of the season--for thee

BTW: Is that wonderful, jaunty hat of wicker? I certainly hope so--mine is a converted orchid pot.


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 01:41 am (UTC)

Thank you, Whimsy, your rococo entertainment has afforded me copious joy, calling to mind Mr Jarman's meditation on all hues of blue, from cerulean to meridien. Like you, Mr Jarman was a master of decoration, and seemed able to reach back not just to Yellow Book days, but far beyond, to ancient pagan pleasures or the Silver Age.

The nice thing about the past is that there is so much of it, don't you think? And more each day. The man of exquisite taste of our time, he fortunate enough to possess that voluptuary requisite, a well-stocked library, may pick and choose from every era in search of materials with which to build Sybaris, his city of pleasure. By the way, are you an admirer of Dame Edith Sitwell?


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 01:47 am (UTC)

(My hat, by the by, is of common straw, not wicker. It was acquired from a Chinaman in San Francisco for a mere bagatelle. Its distinction comes from a most ingenious folding design which allows it to be assembled like origami then folded quite flat. Here in Berlin, however, I have seen a most splendid pair of wicker breeches in an outfitter's in Kreuzberg. Only a fear of cheek-searing public humiliation has prevented me from purchasing and wearing them. But, as Mr Ant reminds us, 'ridicule is nothing to be scared of'. If only I could bring myself to believe it!)


ReplyThread Parent
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC)

It is the duck-like curve of the bill and it's planar ribbing that is so appealing. I am intrigued as to the manner in which it is constructed. Fascinating.

Wicker breeches? Claim the Grail, young Perceval--although I would not advise steeplechase in such a garb. Strange how shirts, jackets and hats provide more social lattitude than pantaloons or breeches. I wonder if they come in a 30-inch inseam...

Serendipity is all over this post: Mr. Ant's song has become a sort of ad hoc anthem for our Order, coincidentally named the Bagatelles. You simply must do your own rendition of this perennial--with your own witty variations, of course. Perhaps in the manner of Saki?

Vive la bagatelle,
Whimsy
(Founder, Hermetic Order of the Bagatelle, aka: "The Limp Panthers")


ReplyThread Parent
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 11:57 am (UTC)

The pleasure is mine, sir. I apologize for being so presumptuous as to trespass upon your journal with such an intrusive flotilla of words.

Your observation is a perceptive one. Indeed, I would never be so bold as to claim to be a "man of letters"; I am but the merest of stylists, an avatar of Pleasure. I find your characterization of my playful trifles as being an amalgam of the neolithic and aesthetic to be a most flattering and resonant one, for both are central themes to my work and person. (What a marvelous thing it is to wear one's favorite waistcoat whilst wiggling wet toes in the sweet summer grass, or to buff one's shoes in the midst of a garter snake basking in the light of the golden star which begat you both! Such is the essence of Affected Provincialism: green men and wodehouses that wear canes and straw hats, reading Swinburne, cleaning fossils, inventing nonsensical heraldic devices and penning naughty limericks. Animistic refinement? Precambrian sybarites? Neolithic thrilletantes? Oh my, yes.)

I confess that I know only the rudiments of Mr. Jarman's oeuvre, but I shall endeavor to remedy my ignorance; he seems to have been a kindred spirit (the man was a gardener, after all).

Oh, I couldn't agree more that we should all dance jigs amongst the hard-won treasures left by our forbearers--it is our birthright, and enrichment for all lies within its glorious strata. Let us enact holidays whereby the public lovingly empty the museums, and dance down the thoroughfares of our towns with the treasures of yore upon our shoulders; a gesture of gratitude to those who came before us! Let it be written into our municipal codes that one who eats the skin of an apple but leaves the rest to rot is engaging in criminal folly!

The balance betwixt an appreciation for continuity and nostalgia is a precarious one, no? But then, what is Time, really? If we can play with Time in musical endeavors, then one cannot help but wonder if in what what other ways might Time serve us.

Yes, Dame Edith's poetic imagery is truly an inspiration, to be sure. I have not read her entire body of work, but what I have read has left me utterly charmed. I suspect she shall become indispensable to my happiness. Again, I benefit from your erudition.

--Beau Hummel


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sat, Apr. 10th, 2004 06:56 am (UTC)

I merely want to second Momus's recommendation of Dame Edith, m'lord. She is my muse, my mentor, my empress. Get yourself a megaphone and try some orat-aoke: "In the early spring-time, after their tea, Through the young fields of the springing Bohea... "


ReplyThread Parent
lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 01:32 pm (UTC)

Attached is a link to a short video pastorale: http://www.lordwhimsy.com/trifles/index.html

Downloading might take a few minutes, but the patient shall see highwheels, wooded glens, sabretooth tiger skulls and a comically inaccurate approximation of absinthe.

W


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 07:56 pm (UTC)
A weekend in the fields!


Amazing synchronicity ... but's it's the season for planting
after all.

My weekend plan is to attend a two day workshop in southern
Nara on natural rice farming by a disciple of Masanobu Fukuoka
(of the "One Straw Revolution").

And plant some rice with a girl I met at the end of my
annual meditation retreat. She gave up the rat race in Tokyo to get into natural textiles, organic farming, and insight meditation.

It's a wonderful song.

I'd willingly give you money for this Momus, but I don't like
using paypal. How about an IOU for the next time you're in Kyoto? I'll buy you lunch at one of my favourite organic vegetarian restaurants.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 01:53 am (UTC)
Re: A weekend in the fields!

Done! I will wait on the Kitayama-Ohashi Bridge asking every gaijin I see 'Are you Anonymous? How about lunch?'


ReplyThread Parent


(Anonymous)
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 10:36 pm (UTC)

Nice work, Nick. Spend my Euro wisely!

If I may make a suggestion: Any song you publish in this way will be shared around whether you like it or not. It might end up on Kazaa, or it might just be forwarded from friend to friend to friend. Many people listening to the song might not have any idea where it came from.

With that in mind, you might want to attach meaningful ID3 tags to your mp3s. The only information you included with this file was the name of the song. Why not add the artist name, your website address, and some comment text that lets listeners know that you'd appreciate a donation if they like the song? You can even attach cover art to the file if you like.

It's real easy to do: Before you upload it, just click on the song in your iTunes library (you'll have to add it to your iTunes library first, of course), hit Command-I, and fill in the relevant information. Then upload it as usual.

Apologies if you already knew this and have your own reasons for not doing it, it's just always confused me that you post mp3s without including this kind of information.

Wishing you fame, wealth and happiness,
rich


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)

Doh, meant to include the following apposite quote in previous msg:

Chinese whispers was an analogue game
Where the signal degraded between brain and brain
Digital whispers is the same in reverse
The word we spread gets better, not worse


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 01:56 am (UTC)

That is so blindingly obvious that I hadn't even thought about it! Thank you, Rich.


ReplyThread Parent
1dayafterschool
rocío
Thu, Apr. 8th, 2004 10:24 pm (UTC)

you have been paypaled. i can't wait until the new album is released next year!


ReplyThread
geeveecatullus
geeveecatullus
clodia pulchra
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 12:10 am (UTC)

nice! definitely worth a $.
And what Rich said.Some additional information on the file sounds like a good idea.


ReplyThread
rroland
rroland
rroland
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC)
five dollars worth

technical: vocals not too loud, analog-like scratchies
musical: daisy chained vocals on the last chorus, the flute, no big obvious samples, prance-able
lyrical: a nice play between the macro and the micro, the moon, the scarecrow's eye
personal: listening takes me back to the early days on the 'farm', the 60's love commune i grew up on, a farming community of 1300.

thought: there weren't any cars on Summerisle


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Apr. 9th, 2004 07:59 am (UTC)

I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who's contributing. I consider this experiment a success and will keep posting songs. The one I'm working on now is 'Robin Hood'. It should be online within the next day or so.


ReplyThread Parent
tianamolko
tianamolko
tiana
Sat, Apr. 10th, 2004 12:25 am (UTC)

i've adored you for forever and a half,
and i just found out you have a livejournal.
i hope you do not mind
that i have added you.


ReplyThread
negative_utopia
my radio sounds different in the dark
Tue, Jun. 22nd, 2004 10:20 pm (UTC)

Hi. I run an MP3 downloads indie music 'zine on livejournal.
negative_utopia
I was wondering if I could post some of your songs...
For some songs you request paypal donations and I didn't know how you felt about those songs being posted in the journal.
let me know what you think
thanks
Pippin


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Jun. 28th, 2004 12:54 am (UTC)

Pippin, I'd rather just keep them here, if you don't mind.


ReplyThread Parent
negative_utopia
my radio sounds different in the dark
Mon, Jun. 28th, 2004 01:15 am (UTC)

Not a problem at all.
Thanks for getting back to me.


ReplyThread Parent